Youth and Responsibility of Words (Speech)
- :Al-Balagh Foundation
The words we utter are not like the foam of soap, which float over the suurface of our tongues and then, burst quickly in the air. In Islam, our words have a responsibility (Not a word does he utter but there is a sentinel by him, ready to note it) (Holy Qur'an: 50:18). They watch our good and bad deeds, because the tongue is as described in this narration: "Is a key of good or evil." The responsibility of speech lies in thinking about it before saying it, choosing the best among them, following the best way in saying it and studying its effect on those directed.
Indeed, it is not an easy work, it is in need of thinking, because many a times, talking without thinking leads to negative and destructive effects, while talking after thinking, many a times, leads to positive effects.
Our good words are like a gift: it is good to present it wrapped with beautiful wrapping paper so as to make the recipient happy. Our words of criticism are like the head of a needle…it is good not face it to the direction of our listener in order not to hurt him. After considering all these, then we will have our own special dictionary of good words, as well as, that of criticism. Here we are in two conditions of wanting to reach the mind of people through their hearts, and this cannot be achieved unless by following the method presented to us by the Holy Qur'an: (Say to my servants that they should (only) say those things that are best) (Holy Qur'an: 17:53).
Therefore, our words are like goods in the market. There are good ones and bad ones…we should choose 'a good word' in its pronunciation and meaning so as to be our messenger to others. It is not an easy job, but it is not difficult for those who know the responsibility of speech. After that, words and speeches have different degrees of goodness and evilness.
There are 'words of kindness' that make people pleased with with: (And speak to them words of kindness and justice) (Holy Qur'an: 4:8). And there are 'words of mildness' that spread their wings over the hearing of the listener and doesn't hurt him (But speak to him mildly; perchance he may take warning or fear (Allah) (Holy Qur'an: 20:44).
And there are 'words of honor' that carry the self-purity of the sayer and attracts the listener because of its sense of preaching, advice, correction, encouragement and guidance: (But address them in terms of honor) (Holy Qur'an: 17: 23).
And there are 'words of eloquence' that enter the hearts of people and became effective as if the speaker is sure that it will hit the target (So keep clear of them, but admonish them, and speak to them a word to reach their very souls) (Holy Qur'an: 4:63).
Selection and choosing of good words and right methods of saying them, is an endeavor and apractice from us, and is a success and guidance from the Almighty Allah (For they have been guided (in this life) to the purest of speeches; they have been guided to the path of Him Who is worthy of (all) praise) (Holy Qur'an: 22:24).
But the bad words that require another test in order to run away from them, are:
(False Words): they are the words and sayings that lack any reliable source or it is giving untrue testimony (And shun the word that is false) (Holy Qur'an: 22:30), (And in fact they use words (both) iniquitous and false) (Holy Qur'an: 58:2). (The words of slanders and exposing ones in dignity): which destroy people's dignity completely: (Allah loveth not that evil should be noised abroad in public speech, except where injustice hath been done) (Holy Qur'an: 4:148).
(Decorated Words): Which have a beautiful shape, are either internally empty or carries evil contents (inspiring each other with flowering discourse by way of deception) (Holy Qur'an: An'am: 112). An example of it is the sweet and distorted word that is sweet in hearing, but it is full of poison (There is a type of man whose speech about this world's life may dazzle thee, and he calls Allah to witness about what is in his heart; yet is he the most contentious of enemies) (Holy Qur'an: 2: 204).
(Words of Complaint): they are the words released (said) by a disloyal son in front of his parent as if he will slap them (Say not to them a word of contempt, nor repel them) (Holy Qur'an: 17: 23).
We are in the market of words as we are in the market of goods; we should select the best of them…therefore, good words like fine goods, require valuable prices and sacrifice in order to achieve them, even though continuity has a great effect and role. An evil word is sweet, being that it can perish quickly and has tax both in this word and in the hereafter. If the word is from the type of good word, then it can serve as a guide, developer of hearth, opener of the mind, encourager of good deeds, teacher, as well as, an opener for loyalty and good.
And if it is from the vulgar bad words, then it is harmful to ones dignity, stimulates to wrong and an opener to the evil doors. Therefore, your words are your responsibility. If they are under your tongue, you can control them, but if they go out and be under other's control, then it would have positive or negative outcomes.
As youth, we are still learning the lessons of the world in the school of responsibility. In this situation we will be faced with some words like: Promise, teaching, preaching, calling people toward Allah, supporting justice, rejecting injustice…they are words that require sincerity and honesty, first. For instance, the word 'promise' is full of responsibility, when you promise me something you must fulfill it, because: "A true believer fulfill when he promises', as it is said in a proverb that 'A true believer is the one who fullfilswhen he promises." And "Promise is the freedom of religion'. But we must always remember that the word 'yes' is not easy as we think.
We will be faced with words like: Mockery, humiliation, hurt, stimulating sensitivity, contradic-tion, slander and degradation. Unfortunately, these are words that are circulating between people without paying attention to the fact that they are dangerous or a mattock that destroys houses or are hammers that break hearts.
Your word is your sound…it is you…therefore, do not give it free of charge… do not set it as a foundation for supporting right here and wrong there. Your words are not an accent of your sound or unnecessary letters…they are full of responsibility.
Adapted from the book: "Youth Aspiration Towards Responsibility" by: "Al Balagh Foundation"
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